Life as a Mom to a Type 1 Diabetic

When I had children, I never expected that any of them would one day be diagnosed as a Diabetic. I mean, if I had really entertained the possibility, I suppose the notion wouldn’t seem so far fetched as there is a plethora of Diabetes (Type 1 and 2) to go around within my family. Having a sister with T1D, a father with Type 2, and grandfathers with both types, aside from being Type 2 pre-diabetic myself the possibility was very real. But, you don’t really think about all of that unless it happens to you.

Life over the past couple of weeks has changed drastically. Since we got his diagnosis on July 31st, it’s like life has been flipped completely upside down up until this point. There has been loads of stress, coupled with appointments, and much learning throughout the process. I have given myself time to absorb the reality of the situation, and I think I’ve made peace with it. It’s nothing any of us wanted to deal with, but here we are. We have learned to begin living in our new alternate reality. Is it easy? Never. It’s not even gotten to the point where it’s the slightest bit pleasant yet. But, it is what it is – and we are all doing the best we can to cope.

One thing I’ve sort of learned already is that his diagnosis isn’t just his alone. It’s ours as his parents, as well, and it’s even the rest of the family’s as well. We all bear the burden of the illness – but we do it gladly, because we love him. One of us is always watching out for his best interest. He’s gotten really upset a few times when one of us have said, ‘Marcus, you shouldn’t be eating that,’ or have asked him, ‘Marcus, don’t you need to dose yourself before having that?’ It’s really hard for him to have to hear me constantly nagging him about his sugar, his choice in foods and snacks, and the quantity of food he eats. I don’t deprive him, rather I try to keep everything in moderation and make sure what he’s having to eat is at a level that would be pleasing to his diabetic team as well as to his sugar.

I remember being 14. The stress of the age alone with being in middle school is difficult all by itself. Throw diabetes into the mix, and its a recipe for some really difficult stuff.

If I had to choose one word to describe how I’m feeling throughout all of this, and if I’m being completely honest, I’m stressed. Beyond stressed. It’s so hard to have to be the bad guy. The one who has to inject him with needles and see him flinch in pain when he gets his Lantus, because it burns. The one who has to be the heavy and portion control everything. The one who pushes water so much I’m sick of hearing my own voice at this point. It’s hard to carb count everything, and guesstimate just what the heck 3 tablespoons of dry rice and seasoning mixture even translates to once it’s cooked.

That leads me to another point: some of these companies need to get their crap together. Most companies do a fabulous job detailing clearly and concisely just how many carbs are in an exact portion size. But some of  these companies make it reeeeally difficult. Like, for example, I was making blueberry muffins from a boxed mix the other day and I wanted Marcus to be able to have one. Well, that didn’t quite pan out the way I had hoped because on the back of the box, it read something like ‘Serving Size: 2.5 TBSP dry mix’.

Um, okay. That’s incredibly helpful. So I guess I spoon the dry mix out and let him go to town eating it then.

Because how in the heck am I supposed to figure out what that translates to in liquid once everything else is mixed in and cooked? Am I over complicating it, or is that incredibly annoying?

I digress.

I’m sure with time this Diabetes thing is gonna get so much easier. Everyone keeps saying it will. I keep hearing, “A year from now, you will look back on all of this and feel so much more confident than when you first started. You’ll be amazed how much you will adjust.”

Maybe I will. Maybe it gets easier. But right now, I’m stressed out. And that’s okay. I’m allowed to be. I’m just gonna give myself more time to adjust and give myself credit for doing as great of a job as I can – because nothing about any of this is easy.



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